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Computation of GDP – conundrums continue A yen for wastage… Kudos to NDTV... Music happens CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Airlines in India: cost and space ONGC at KG Basin Maximising the micro pricing … Where is Rajaji? IPL - no surprise this scam More tributes to GR Robber barons everywhere Demise of a media baron... The star of Spencers is no more Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Valli, they are more marginalised Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Tax agriculture to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Plummeting profits of PSBs …and of a popular trade leader An inexplicable neglect Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Tribute Another Indian music maestro at the UN Tatas moving out of urea production... Vibrant Gujarat R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Contrarian cousins Banning booze... Delhi is distant Revive development banks... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. When online building permits work…. Five star activism stalls development activity Welcome GST Where a state respects its litterateurs… Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... The sea- saw battle continues... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… An enemy’s enemy is a friend Shale gas and its shallow future Tatas moving out of urea production... Things happen by accident and not by design... When Ratan Tata visited SRM A welcome initiative by the judiciary Put expensive assets created to use... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Road development slows down Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Adharma of opposition politics Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated The power-full Hindujas Roaring Ro-Ro facility SoA @ 80 Align crops to agro climate endowments… Welcome focus on core competence An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Auto components surge… Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Come elections, come advertisements... Poor quality of university VCs Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! A more liberated TN… Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Fortune for Indian Airlines Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Editor's Says Mersal magnified Towards speedy justice More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Return to king coal for urea... Solar thermal shines… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? IPL type auction for VCs? Why land prices zoom in TN? Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL No Maha Koottani in TN... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more The Swadeshi Trump Protest masters... Strengthen the base... GNS - 100: our first subscriber Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Waning interest in public discussions… S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V TIAM turns a full cycle Medical costs hit the roof... PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals PC’s preference for professionals Of course, Gujarat is vibrant TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Making ‘my Amaravati’... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Fuel for thought Parliament in paralysis... London, London Narayan Discoms deserve better… Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik For whom the bell tolls? Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel A friendly business group Nuclear power at the nucleus GM Technology at last! All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Telangana in top gear… Wise Presidents Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt TELANGANA at last…BUT Gay abandon in pricing Which side are you, Montek? The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The why of tax incentives Cement prices continue to rise… Pharma – overdose of copying Paytm karo... Silver Years of Madras Musings He continues the focus on social amelioration Tough task taking states together West Bengal: mindless malignancy Kinetic Karnataka Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Streamlining mandatory third party cover Solar, solar everywhere … Readers' Mail When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's The nuclear option Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami The balancing act Haul over the coal Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Delhi Chalo... Muffled voices for merit… Breaththrough in malaria control TGS- The king storyteller Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Why this malaise in medical education? Make standards certification mandatory... Multi-faceted Venkat Building loyalty through the stomach IAS invades NDDB... No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Fortune 500 review Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities The rise and fall of Annamalai University Mu Sigma – is no more The Gulf aviation boom Tribute – M V Murugappan There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Russi Mody – a tribute Shipping woes of Chennai companies Increasing non co-operation of state leaders The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Modi storms Silicon Valley A think tank for Chennai Secularism and anti-Hinduism A proud Madrasi Small units prefers to remain small... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow He saved millions from starvation... CII projects higher growth… Polls and promises Funding the un-funded Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Boy, can you beat these? Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Build close rapport with business leaders Delhi returns to BJP EVM is tamper-proof Rahman at CIC Quality education through the PPP mode A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Lalu’s envy, India’s pride How Air-India loses customs... L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Revving up the manufacturing sector When nations steal growth from one another… Engineering seats go abegging Cutting the nose to spite the face The Jan Dhan bonanza Gas is the way forward Quality silica from Neyveli Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Should we change the official year? EEC at the National Media Centre Preserving for the future A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Intellectual of rare qualities Sri Lanka votes for change Sweeter prospects for sugar B H Kothari - a tribute Noble nonagenarians... When the President was rendered homeless… When small is no larger beautiful.. Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science A glass full of corruption Modi and the lady The brown list of Venkitaramanan Kulandai was a giant Shanti and Sadhana through Music The few handicaps... A professional at the helm of IRDA... Delhi is distant… The rise and rise of KCP Moily’s bold thrust WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform No engine for this car Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Convulsions in The Hindu Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel China invests in India Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Editor's Notes More heat than light This scant respect for Law
 
A professional at the helm of IRDA...
THE DECISION of Finance Minister P Chidambaram to appoint T S Vijayan as Chairman - IRDA, breathes a lot of fresh air. Vijayan brings with him four decades of experience in life insurance. He had headed LIC with distinction. He can now attend with speed to several of the issues demanding serious reforms.

It required same special effort to break the dominance of the Indian Administrative Service in cornering plum posts post-retirement. But then PC has this in good measure. Incidentally, N Rangachari ( a chartered accountant and an IRS officer) worked hard to formulate the guidelines for regulation and development that led to the establishment of IRDA. Rangachari headed IRDA with distinction and paved the way for opening up the sector for both life and general insurance.

Rangachari’s successors (all retired IAS officers) in their limited tenures, did not show much understanding of the complexities of this highly evolved business. This resulted in intense rate wars and unethical practices that could not be regulated. IRDA has failed to tackle myriad issues. Reforms like increasing the share of foreign investors could not take place. The result: general insurance companies bled, incurring heavy losses on motor and health insurance. For the four PSU companies, profits came from investment income and not from the core business of insurance. This comfort was not available to the private players. In fact a few of these are sitting ducks for acquisition.

Insurance penetration is still low. Nearly twelve years after opening up, there has not been widespread awareness on the need for insurance cover. An estimate puts that a majority of vehicles ply without the mandatory third party insurance cover. The database is weak. Vijayan, one hopes, will focus equally on the development aspects of IRDA as much as on regulation.

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